Day 1 Welcome and Orientation
Welcome to Thailand and the northern city of Chiang Mai. Meet local coordinators and attend an orientation about Thailand, currency, language, food, dress code and emergency procedures.
Day 2 Meet and Care for Elephants
Visit the Mae Rim Thai Elephant Care Centre, a camp for elephants that can no longer work either in tourism or in the logging industry. Your group will spend the day interacting with these gentle giants to learn all about elephant care, conservation and discuss the broad topic of animal welfare in tourism. Daily care includes preparing large quantities of food, bathing and escorting the elephants with their mahouts (trainer/owner) into the forest where they rest for the night.
Day 3 Trekking to Hill Tribe Village
Spend a day of adventure trekking through the forests of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain. This national park is a beautiful, protected ecosystem of spectacular waterfalls and a huge diversity of plants, birds and other animals. Your group will hike for about two hours along a river to a Hill Tribe village and learn about highland coffee cultivation.
Day 4 Welcome to the Community Service Project
Travel to the highland community village, Baan Muang Paem, where your group will commence the construction project and other community service activities. Enjoy a warm welcome by the Karen hill tribe people at an evening meal that your students can help prepare using traditional methods and food from the local market. Meeting for food makes fast friends!
Overnights will be at a local resort hotel.
Day 5-7 Community Interaction and Activities
Each day there will be time scheduled for construction tasks, rest time and hands on cultural immersion activities. The Karen produce and market products using bamboo weaving, wood carving, and dying and weaving cloth. These skills, along with agriculture, allow the Karen to have a sustainable livelihood in remote mountainous areas. The local children will be eager for your students to visit their school and to play games and sports together.
Day 8 Free Day for Exploration
Today is a free day for your group to explore Chiang Mai with a van and guide on standby as needed.
Day 9 Cooking School
Attend the Baan Thai Cooking School to learn how Thai values and customs are incorporated in their food. Visit a local market to buy the fresh ingredients and return to the traditional Thai house to prepare a delicious lunch.